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For Release: Monday, May 13, 2013

Experience Fishing Fun at South Otselic's Fishing Heritage Day

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Trout Unlimited's Chenango Valley Chapter will conduct a free Family Fishing Clinic on Saturday, May 18, from 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. at the South Otselic Fish Hatchery, located on County Route 26 in Chenango County during the 5th annual South Otselic Fishing Heritage Days. No fishing license is required during the event. Spin casting rods and bait will be provided. Children under age 16 must be supervised.

"Under Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, these clinics allow more New Yorkers to experience fishing for the first time," DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. "The clinics will offer guidance so those with no fishing experience can learn about the sport."

South Otselic has a rich fishing heritage with the B.F. Gladding Company, which has been making fishing line since 1816. DEC's South Otselic Fish Hatchery, which has been operating for 73 years, will conduct the clinic. The hatchery is located on County Route 26, in Chenango County. There will be two 15-minute instructional sessions, one in the morning at 9:00 a.m. and one in the afternoon at 12:30 p.m. Both sessions will be followed by open fishing during the remainder of the clinic.

There will also be open instructional stations set up in the Hatchery presented by Trout Unlimited members. These stations will consist of an aquatic insect identification and water quality program, fly tying and fly casting. The stations will familiarize anglers of all ages and skill with fishing techniques, tackle and aquatic insects.

For the open fishing portion of the event there will be a stocked trout pond for kids, and a section of the Otselic River, which is also stocked, will be available for adult fishing. This section of stream is from the County Route 13 Bridge in South Otselic, downstream to the DEC parking area just below the hatchery. No fishing license is required to fish in the above mentioned areas during the event.

Drawings for fishing tackle and equipment will be held for students participating in the fishing clinics.

To further encourage fishing in New York State, Governor Cuomo signed legislation last year expanding the opportunity for free fishing clinics, allowing more New Yorkers to experience fishing for the first time by enabling DEC to increase the number of free clinics that can be held throughout the state. The Free Fishing Days program began in 1991 to allow all people the opportunity to sample the incredible fishing New York State has to offer.

There will also be tours of the South Otselic Fish Hatchery during the day along with numerous community events. Parking for all events is available at the hatchery across from the town park. Admission to all activities is free. For information to the web, see the link in the right column or contact Calvin Hite at (315) 653-7490.

Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is an effort to improve recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state. This initiative includes the streamlining of hunting and fishing licensing and reducing license fees, improved access for fishing at various sites across the state, stocking as much as 900,000 pounds of fish, expanding fishing clinics and increasing hunting opportunities in various regions.

DEC sponsors several free fishing clinics throughout the state where possession of a fishing license is not required. A list of such can be found on the DEC's website.